Banking is arguably the most regulated industry in the U.S. with an alphabet soup of regulations: GLB, FCRA, ECOA, BSA, AML, OFAC, CAN-SPAM, UDAAP, and many more. You can recognize all of these acronyms, but can your software vendor? With these four important questions, you can quickly identify a vendor that treats compliance as seriously as you do.
As the Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel of a financial software company, as well as a Director on the Board of a community bank, banking compliance is often at the forefront of my mind. Coming from the perspective of both a community banker and a software vendor, some of you have asked my thoughts on criteria for selecting compliant software solutions. I recommend asking these four questions to determine if the vendor cares as much about compliance as you do.

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Is the Solution Built by Bankers?

There are no doubt software coding geniuses who can create beautiful banking software, but the software industry is not as highly regulated as the banking industry. Not all software vendors understand the importance of compliance or its landscape. Look for a software vendor that understands banking and has banking compliance professionals on staff, or, even better, who are involved in software development.

Does the Vendor Implement Compliance by Design?

A vendor that implements compliance by design treats compliance as a primary consideration when designing the product itself, instead of treating compliance as a “check-the-box” exercise or an afterthought for the compliance team. The other day, the lead product designer on our Atlas Platform reached out to me to discuss the design of our business lending solution to ensure that it will be compliant when the CFPB releases its future regulations on section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. That is an example of compliance by design.

Are There Robust Compliance Policies?

To ensure that a vendor’s compliance policies are robust, go a few steps further than reviewing each policy itself. The vendor should have multiple compliance policies covering all relevant banking regulations that are reviewed and updated periodically. In addition to compliance policies, the vendor should have compliance procedures, controls, training, and testing

Is There Flexibility for Banker’s Controls?

At the end of the day, compliance is the bank’s responsibility. Check the software product for features that allow the bank to incorporate its own compliance controls. For example, the business lending solution on our Atlas Platform will enable banks to use their own privacy policy, set certain credit policy characteristics, override or adjust recommended offers, and add their own closing documents. Set yourself up for success with a software solution that has automation to ease your workflows and customized compliance controls to ease your mind.

Lauren Friend McKelvey serves on the Board of Directors for the Freedom Bank of Virginia and as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for StreetShares, a digital business banking solution provider. StreetShares’ Atlas Platform rapidly enables community banks with complete business product solutions from sales to closing. The Atlas Platform levels the playing field for community bankers to compete with the largest banks and financial technology firms. For more information, please email atlas@streetshares.com

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4 Important Vendor Compliance Questions You Should Be Asking

Banking is arguably the most regulated industry in the U.S. with an alphabet soup of regulations: GLB, FCRA, ECOA, BSA, AML, OFAC, CAN-SPAM, UDAAP, and many more. You
can recognize all of these acronyms, but can your software vendor? With these four important questions, you can quickly identify a vendor that treats compliance as seriously as you do.

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